Researchers are now suggesting that people who have insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea get tested for the probability of heart problems. A new study has found that people who have a sleep disorder are more likely to suffer from heart problems and are almost 50% more likely to die compared to those who don’t have the condition.
The researchers from Finders University completed a study of over 5,000 people to understand the impact of comorbid insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea (COMISA). There has previously been very little known about the effects of comorbid insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea.
However, researchers did know that for people with both conditions, health outcomes were worse than those with neither condition or with either condition alone.
The participants for the study were all aged around 60 years in the beginning and were followed for approximately 15 years. The studies suggest that participants with COMISA were twice as likely to have high blood pressure and 70% more likely to have cardiovascular disease than patients with either sleep disorder.
It was also noted that participants with COMISA had a 47% increased risk of dying for any health reason compared to participants with no insomnia or sleep apnea. These outcomes were recorded even when other factors known to increase mortality were taken into account.
As the first study to assess mortality risk in participants with comorbid insomnia and sleep apnea, researchers were able to conclude that people who suffered from sleep issues were more at risk to have heart problems.
Dr. Lechat, who led the study, said, “Given that these people are at higher risk of experiencing adverse health outcomes, it is important that people undergoing screening for one disorder should also be screened for the other.”
Further research is needed to understand the relationship between higher mortality risk for those with COMISA and to ensure that treatments are working effectively. As specific treatments are needed for people with co-occurring disorders, it’s important to understand the efficacy in this specific population.